Symposium recognises road safety contributors

| Industrial Sector News

Professor Nick Reed at the 2015 TRL Academy Symposium

The annual TRL Academy Symposium has recognised three people whose work on road safety has had a significant impact on casualty reduction on UK roads.

Environmental Engineering editor, Jonathan Newell, was recently invited to the TRL Academy Symposium held at the Royal Society of Medicine in central London. The theme of the symposium was “young driver safety”, with presentations and a panel discussion with industry experts and academics generating debate on such controversial topics as Graduated Driving Licences.

The TRL Academy is the Transport Research Laboratory’s drive to bolster scientific and engineering expertise in transport through academic liaisons, improving intellectual capital at the organisation and engaging in long term research programmes and development projects.

At this year’s symposium event, the organisation presented its first set of Academy Awards to people who have made significant contributions to the current topic of the annual symposium, in this case road safety amongst younger drivers.

Graham Grayson received the award for his work on the development of the hazard perception test. Anyone who has taken the driving test in the UK during the last 13 years will be familiar with the HPT, which forms part of the theory test and comprises a video simulation viewed by the candidate, who has to recognise hazards. Graham was working a the Principal Psychologist at TRL when the development of the HPT began and which has since been lauded as one of the most successful road safety interventions ever with an estimated risk reduction rate of over 10%, saving almost a billion pounds in collision prevention.

TRL’s Senior Research Fellow, Jeremy Broughton also received an award for his work on road safety statistics, which both TRL and the Government relied on for understanding what factors influenced collisions on the roads and what interventions were most likely to be effective.

Industry veteran, Richard Allsop, Emeritus Professor of Transport Studies at University College London and ex-TRL employee during the early days of the organisation’s history in the 1960s, also received an award for his considerable contributions to road safety over the decades, including work on an understanding of the risks of drink driving. Richard is the recipient of an OBE for traffic management and road safety work.

Commenting on the awards event and the recipients at this year’s symposium, TRL’s Academy Director, Professor Nick Reed told us, “The TRL Academy is all about facilitating collaboration and innovation within the industry, so it is a privilege to recognise those individuals that have helped to promote and encourage exactly that. By recognising those individuals, we hope to encourage and inspire further research and innovation for years to come.”

Jonathan Newell
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